It’s an unfortunate new reality that contractor shortages have become an ordeal for property managers. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have had long-lasting impacts on property contractors worldwide, as work delays and backlogs clash with continuing supply chain issues. As such, many landlords are struggling to find contractors who can promptly complete essential maintenance and repairs. So how can property managers cope with these challenges? And how will they find quality vendors to work on their schedules, keep their tenants happy, and protect their investments? Here are some strategies to implement today.
Lasting Pandemic Effects
According to Nationwide’s 2021 Agent Authority report, the pandemic negatively impacted 70% of construction companies. Restrictions on work due to COVID-19 safety precautions caused many businesses to struggle. At the same time, demand increased as people stuck at home during the lockdown took on home improvement projects. Some contractors went out of business. Others became so swamped with work orders that they could not take on any new clients. The problems all contribute to the ongoing contractor shortage and lead many landlords waiting months in advance for new jobs.
Though things have improved somewhat since 2020, the effects of those pandemic hardships continue to wrack the property management industry. Because so many projects were delayed during the pandemic, plenty of companies have a large backlog to work through. Many contractors are still overbooked, and can only take jobs three to four weeks out. For property managers, who run on a tight schedule and can’t afford to leave a job undone for an entire month, contractor shortages serious problems.
Landlords Face Repercussions For Work Delays
As a landlord, it’s important to make sure that your tenants aren’t dealing with a maintenance issue or repair that impacts their quality of life. In addition, landlords have a legal duty to ensure that the residence remains habitable. If the issue you’re struggling to get a vendor to fix impacts the tenant’s ability to live safely in the unit, you may need to provide a place for your tenants to stay until the essential repairs can be made. For landlords struggling to find contractors in a timely manner, this can exponentially increase repair costs.
Your tenants may also be permitted to move out and demand the return of their security deposit if you do not perform essential maintenance on time. Your tenants may also be able to either make a repair themselves or hire someone to do it for them. They can then deduct any associated costs from their rent. In these cases, you still miss out on rental revenue and may worry that the job was completed well. And if your tenants move out before you complete a repair, that leaves you without rental income on that property and without the ability to find new tenants until you complete the repair.
In addition, having to wait to make a repair can often result in the repair itself costing even more money. For instance, having to wait to find a contractor who can fix a leak in the roof will no doubt result in even more damage in the meantime.
So how can landlords ensure that the essentials of their property management are taken care in the face of contractor shortages.
How Can You Bridge The Gap Between Vendors?
Stay on Top of Seasonal Maintenance.
Emergency repairs are stressful, but don’t forget about seasonal maintenance, either. Simple tasks such as repairing railings, complying with your duties to clear a property of fallen leaves or snow, or replacing an old roof can all help you avoid either a costly repair in the future or an unfortunate liability issue.
Don’t Be Afraid of a Little DIY
Many seasonal maintenance tasks and smaller repairs are ones that you can complete yourselves. The could include trimming trees, monitoring the property’s drainage, and checking the residence’s insulation. By taking care of smaller tasks on your own, you can save money and avoid contractor shortages. In addition, this can help you build a stronger relationship with your tenants as they see that you’re personally invested in their welfare.
Build Lasting Partnerships With Vendors
One of the best ways to ensure you don’t have to wait for endless weeks to hire a contractor for a repair is by fostering relationships with the vendors you’ve used in the past. If you’re a returning client with a positive relationship with the contractor, they might be more likely to work with you and fit you into their schedule.
Work With a Property Manager
Of course, DIY repairs, seasonal maintenance, and building relationships with vendors all take a lot of time and effort. In the end, many landlords might prefer to work with a property management company to help their rental runs smoothly. If less work and stress about finding vendors sounds good to you, Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew can help.
Rent Portland Homes Works With Top-Tier Contractors
While many landlords struggle to find contractors and vendors in a timely fashion, property management companies can offer a solution. Because we partner with high-quality vendors, we are able to ensure that our clients and tenants get repairs and maintenance done in a timely fashion.
We know that acting fast is crucial in today’s rental market, and for that reason, we’ve made keeping the best in Portland’s contractors on hand a priority. If you’d like to learn more about how we bridge the gap between contractors and property owners over the course of our management, call or text us any time at (503) 515-3170 or reach out through the contact page on our website.